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Thread: Atheism Thread

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    Default Atheism Thread

    ...carried over from here.

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    Have to jump in here - atheism is a theory ( i.e. able to be disproven ) and yet theism is not even that. The two notions are not on an even pegging at all ...

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    Default Re: Atheism Thread

    I have a lot of respect for atheists and listen to their theories and agree on some. But I believe in God.

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    Quote Originally Posted by !Viva Hate! View Post
    Maybe Geezer can give us advice seeing as she is an upstanding citizen in her community, trusted confidant to her friends, is extremely intelligent and properly educated, & just generally has her shit together in ways we could never hope to?

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    Quote Originally Posted by realitybites View Post
    What I meant is that you made some general statements but didn't back them up with reasons for those beliefs. For example, you said, "I'm familiar with Darwin; I think he was a genius but I do not think he had it all figured out and I think that he had a lot of holes in his bag." I ask, how was he a genius? In what way? Why do you think he was a genius? And yet you claim he had holes in his bag. What holes? Can you explain what you mean by these statements and how you came to these conclusions? But, I'm not asking you to answers these questions, btw. I'm just providing an example of what I mean by vacuous statements.
    Maybe calling him a "genius" was going a little far but he did set forth a revolutionary concept in science that moved away from atheism into an actual cohesive, structured explanation of how we could have gotten here without some divine hand pulling the strings.

    When I say there were holes in his bag I just meant that while I respect him offering an alternative to some mythical "poof! there were animals" and "poof! there were people" notion of creation, evolution doesn't really make any sense to me either. Maybe I'm just not smart enough to understand it biologically, or scientifically, I don't know. It just doesn't add up, something about the concept of everything coming from primordial ooze...I don't know, I don't buy it. I don't like the way that every time scientists can't explain something they just keep adding a million years to the Earth's history.

    I don't like the way the big bang/evolution thing is presented as fact; and I'm not saying evolution in general but evolution as the definitive explanation of everything. As far as I know they haven't really proved anything, they're just grasping at straws and filing in blanks.

    I don't, under any circumstances, believe in seven-day Creationism, either. Just letting you know. In case you thought I was going there. Or intelligent design.


    This really is the last question. Why is there something rather than nothing? You claim God created the universe. But then what created God? God is something. He is not the nothing...the thing before anything existed. The God theory does not answer this question.
    I didn't claim God created the universe. I questioned atheism. Atheists are allowed to question, but no one can question them without being branded as Christian? Seems unfair.

    I don't know what created God, or even if there is one. That's what I'm saying when I say this conversation is ultimately pointless. No matter what you believe, none of it really makes any sense or can be proven. At least, not with the data we have accumulated so far. I just think there is more to the story that has either not been discovered or has been suppressed.


    Atheism isn't a theory. It isn't even a philosophy or set of beliefs. It simply means no belief in god or gods. It makes no claims. Christianity is a theology--a teleological philosophy that does make ontological claims--how humans and the universe came to exist.
    Atheism is a theory; in that it is an unproven belief system that is pinned on a refusal to believe in a central divine intelligence. It does make a claim...that there is no God. I agree with you about the Christianity thing though.

    You can't just say, "atheism isn't a belief system because I don't believe in God." A negative belief system, or an anti-belief regimen, is still a belief system.


    And yet, you found it a good use of your time to create this thread and argue with a stalker? Would you rather your son talk about philosophy with his friends or spend time complaining about being stalked? Not that talking about being stalked is a misuse of time. But neither is talking about the meaning of life. This is another one of your remarks that you made without giving much of a justification for other than saying it's child's play, a waste of time. Nobody need outgrow wonder and curiosity about our natural world and how it works. Just look how many gray haired folks make up the science labs. This is not a childish pursuit.
    I'm not saying I don't have free time or time to bullshit on a web forum. As for what my son talks about with his friends when he's older, well, I'd hope he has both the brains to consider different existential philosophies and well as the looks to attract annoying but beautiful psycho hose-beasts.

    Life is pretty big; there's room for a lot of stuff.

    But I certainly never said this debate is "child's play"...I said that this discussion -which I'm admitting is very basic as I don not claim to be an intellectual nor particularly authoritative on this subject- is valuable as a discussion, but not as a means to any definitive end. Because NOBODY knows where we come from or what happens when we die. NOBODY.


    I find it unfortunate that the atheists you have met are morons. I on the other hand have found atheists to be above average intelligence, live ethical and moral lives, and to care about the environment and its inhabitants.
    I think you are just reading what you want to read in my statements...I have known some extremely intelligent and kind people who are atheists. And unfortunately I have known some cripplingly stupid and cruel Christians.


    That is fine. Sometimes we should think first before posting on a community forum where our words can and are read by anyone--including our family members.
    No one in my family reads this site, or even knows about it, LOL, and I have outgrown all of my friends and let them go, so I don't really give a fuck what people read or see here.

    This forum exists outside of my actual life...I don't take it as seriously as many people here seem to think I do. I don't mean that as a cop-out; I do genuinely enjoy this "place" and I like posting, and I mean most of what I say, but don't give me the "think before you speak" lecture because -at least on this topic- I haven't said anything I regret.


    It struck a nerve because I don't think a supernatural deity selected the genes to create a beautiful human--be it a man, woman, or child. I think nature did the selecting via natural selection. My objection was not that your remark was sexist, if this is what you are inferring. It was that your remark shows an ignorance of science. I love beautiful women. And men.
    What is "ignorance" of science? What does that even mean? I'm not claiming to be a scientist or understand every little nuance and factoid. Does that make me ignorant on the whole? Why?

    I have nothing but respect for science. Scientists saved my kid's life. I love science. For instance, I'm a huge Mythbusters fan.

    I just don't believe every single thing that is presented as "fact."


    OK. But I am not out to win a debate. This is not my desire or intention. I just like to discuss... have a conversation about things I find interesting. But as you already stated earlier, metaphysics isn't really your cup of tea. And that is OK.
    Yeah but when you say "metaphysics" I just hear "mental masturbation". You speak as though you have some kind of authority; and you don't. You clearly have significant intellectual prowess, but c'mon, I'm not a peasant. I just don't really care how we got here.

    I've heard great arguments from both sides of the table...but it doesn't matter to me. DO I enjoy talking about it? Yes, to a point...but I'd rather listen to Born In The USA or watch Jackass or something.

    Life is too short to sit around screaming out to a God that might not even be there or, if he is there, doesn't seem to be too invested in the day-to-day of human existence.

    But I reiterate my earlier statement that when I encounter something really beautiful...the first Knack album, my girlfriend's tits, whatever...I see art. And yeah, maybe that's because I'm too dumb to understand how "nature" -speaking now as though Nature is actually an intelligent consciousness, which I don't believe- could produce that on its own. But maybe it does.

    I don't know.

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    Senior Member Rowntree's Avatar
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    Default Re: Atheism Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 123xyz View Post
    Have to jump in here - atheism is a theory ( i.e. able to be disproven ) and yet theism is not even that. The two notions are not on an even pegging at all ...

    You can't prove or disprove the existence of God(s) or the lack of.

    I find these discussions seem to focus on cemented belief systems which have been manipulated over the ages.

    I like to keep an open mind

    There could be a different existence outside of what we have but I don't think there necessarily has to be a God with that. Or there might be, or there might be nothing

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowntree View Post
    You can't prove or disprove the existence of God(s) or the lack of.

    I find these discussions seem to focus on cemented belief systems which have been manipulated over the ages.

    I like to keep an open mind

    There could be a different existence outside of what we have but I don't think there necessarily has to be a God with that. Or there might be, or there might be nothing

    But atheism is able to be , potentially , disproven i.e. Jesus/Yaweh/Allah etc turns up on the front lawn one day and , I don't know, begins transforming letterboxes and parked cars into walnuts and herpes.

    Whereas theism isn't able to be disproven i.e. if you think about the converse , how do we prove a negation ?

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    Last edited by 123xyz; August 18, 2012 at 04:57 PM. Reason: Had to add a word

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    Quote Originally Posted by 123xyz View Post
    But atheism is able to be , potentially , disproven i.e. Jesus/Yaweh/Allah etc turns up on the front lawn one day and , I don't know, begins transforming letterboxes and parked cars into walnuts and herpes.

    Whereas theism isn't able to be disproven i.e. if you think about the converse , how do we prove a negation ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 123xyz View Post
    But atheism is able to be , potentially , disproven i.e. Jesus/Yaweh/Allah etc turns up on the front lawn one day and , I don't know, begins transforming letterboxes and parked cars into walnuts and herpes.

    Whereas theism isn't able to be disproven i.e. if you think about the converse , how do we prove a negation ?
    According to Christians God has turned up and performed miracles

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    All over the pla-a-ace! realitybites's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 123xyz View Post
    Have to jump in here - atheism is a theory ( i.e. able to be disproven ) and yet theism is not even that. The two notions are not on an even pegging at all ...
    Atheism is not a theory. Nor is it a philosophy or even a belief system. Simply defined, atheism is non-belief in a god or gods. We are all atheists when it comes to the belief in some gods such as Thor, Zeus, etc. Some of us, as Richard Dawkins so eloquently states, just take it one step further. Atheism makes no claims. It just denies the claims made by theists. The burden of proof lies with the theist--the claimant--not the atheist. Atheism is the nothing. Theism is the "something". It is not the atheist's burden to prove that "nothing" exists. The theist must prove "something" exists.

    And the idea that a god exists, isn't even a theory. It doesn't have enough proof to qualify as one. A theory is a tool of science that explains something in the natural world. An explanation supported by evidence gathered by the tools of science i.e. our senses, telescopes and microscopes, and mathematical models. Evolution has the proof to support it i.e. the fossil record, carbon dating, natural selection etc. There is no proof for god because god is a supernatural phenomenon that is not a part of the natural world--it is a creation stemming from wishful thinking, like ghosts, demons, fairies and Santa Claus. None of these things have evidence to support their existence.

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    Last edited by realitybites; August 18, 2012 at 05:29 PM. Reason: typo


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    Quote Originally Posted by realitybites View Post
    Atheism is not a theory. Nor is it a philosophy or even a belief system. Simply defined, atheism is non-belief in a god or gods. We are all atheists when it comes to the belief in some gods such as Thor, Zeus, etc. Some of us, as Richard Dawkins so eloquently states, just take it one step further. Atheism makes no claims. It just denies the claims made by theists. The burden of proof lies with the theist--the claimant--not the atheist. Atheism is the nothing. Theism is the "something". It is not the atheist's burden to prove that "nothing" exists. The theist must prove "something" exists.

    And the idea that a god exists, isn't even a theory. It doesn't have enough proof to qualify as one. A theory is a tool of science that explains something in the natural world. An explanation supported by evidence gathered by the tools of science i.e. our senses, telescopes and microscopes, and mathematical models. Evolution has the proof to support it i.e. the fossil record, carbon dating, natural selection etc. There is no proof for god because god is a supernatural phenomenon that is not a part of the natural world--it is a creation stemming from wishful thinking, like ghosts, demons, fairies and Santa Claus. None of these things have evidence to support their existence.


    Just to quibble , fellow atheist ( ) - I'd understood that one of the objections to theism was that , following Popper, it isn't falsifiable. Hence , not even a theory...

    But atheism is a theory i.e. among other things, falsifiable . If God appears on earth in a Star-Trek-style beam of light , then ...

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    Last edited by 123xyz; August 18, 2012 at 06:11 PM. Reason: Torn between banging on too much and clarifying ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by realitybites View Post
    There is no proof for god because god is a supernatural phenomenon that is not a part of the natural world--it is a creation stemming from wishful thinking,
    Why do you make a division between "natural and unnatural" where physical reality is concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by realitybites View Post
    like ghosts, demons, fairies and Santa Claus. None of these things have evidence to support their existence.
    Bullshit of the highest order. Except maybe for Santa.

    What "evidence" will you recognize? Photographs, video, eyewitness accounts that pass polygraph tests? Unexplainable changes in magnetic fields and temperature and soil, as measured by mechanical instruments? Inexplicable sound recordings where there is no evidence of fakery or tampering?...what do you count as "evidence?"

    Let me guess...all of those people, the hundreds and hundreds of thousands who have had what they consider paranormal experiences..ghosts, UFOs, etc...including policemen and airline pilots...are either crazy, lying, or mistaken, right? Every single one. Sure. Of course.

    Because NOTHING happens that science can't get its obtuse little head around...we'll just write it all off as fake...as "children's stories." Right?

    Just like Santa Claus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skylarker View Post



    You're a goose ( but , yes, I still laughed at the picture.... )....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skylarker View Post
    When I say there were holes in his bag I just meant that while I respect him offering an alternative to some mythical "poof! there were animals" and "poof! there were people" notion of creation, evolution doesn't really make any sense to me either. Maybe I'm just not smart enough to understand it biologically, or scientifically, I don't know. It just doesn't add up, something about the concept of everything coming from primordial ooze...I don't know, I don't buy it.
    But the theory of evolution makes no claim regarding abiogenesis. They are separate and distinct theories.

    As far as abiogenesis itself, I don't think it's all that difficult to accept. On the off chance that you're not familiar with the following, in the famous Miller-Urey experiment, they took water, methane, ammonia, and hydrogen, which obviously are all inorganic, and zapped them with electricity. After a couple of weeks, this combination produced organic material. This experiment is no longer heralded as it once was, but it tells us that it's not impossible at all that inorganic can become organic. There are other experiments such as replicating comet crashes that have astonishingly yielded amino acids.

    Furthermore, we're talking about billions of years. We as humans really aren't able to fathom how long of a time that actually is. Considering that evolution can occur within very short periods of time under certain conditions, I don't think it's that difficult at all to accept that it took single-celled life which existed as is for about two billion years apparenty, and that those celled eventually evolved to become other more complex cells billions of years thereafter. Whether it's true or not, who knows? But as I see it, it's the leading explanation.


    I don't like the way that every time scientists can't explain something they just keep adding a million years to the Earth's history.
    Not really.


    I don't like the way the big bang/evolution thing is presented as fact; and I'm not saying evolution in general but evolution as the definitive explanation of everything. As far as I know they haven't really proved anything, they're just grasping at straws and filing in blanks.
    But again, the big bang theory is separate and distinct from the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution does not claim to be the definitive explanation of everything.

    As for the big bang, the evidence is quite stark. Again, on the off chance that you're not familiar with the following, one of the first substantial evidence of the big bang is the red-shift, which indicates to us that galaxies are all flying away from each other. This means that yesterday, the week before, the year before, 14 billion years ago, galaxies were closer together. A second substantial evidence is the abundance of the light elements. A third substantial evidence is the cosmic microwave background radiation. If there was a big bang, the universe should have remnants of that big bang like the remnants of any massive explosion. Lo and behold, the famous experiment about 50 years ago revealed the existence of that cosmic microwave background radiation everywhere they pointed the horn antennae. This was virtually the death-knell for the opposing steady-state theory. Then, several years ago, they released a probe called the WMAP, which scanned the night sky over a period of years. The results were breathtaking as they basically confirmed what had been predicted all along, which is that we are the product of the big bang. The big bang theory does have minor discrepancies here and there, but the above reasons is why the big bang theory has far and away become the leading cosmological model. Scientists love to prove each other wrong. And yet there really hasn't been a serious challenge to this theory because the evidence is so overwhelming.


    Atheism is a theory; in that it is an unproven belief system that is pinned on a refusal to believe in a central divine intelligence. It does make a claim...that there is no God.
    But there are different kinds of atheism. There are some who don't care about religion at all, and simply state that the notion of God is unimportant in their lives. Then, there are atheists who state that nothing can or cannot be proven one way or the other. Then, there are atheists who know for a certainty that God does not exist.

    I'm an atheist, but I know that at this point in time, nothing can be proven. I'm inclined to say that most atheists are like me when you really ask them to get down to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous View Post
    But the theory of evolution makes no claim regarding abiogenesis. They are separate and distinct theories.

    As far as abiogenesis itself, I don't think it's all that difficult to accept. On the off chance that you're not familiar with the following, in the famous Miller-Urey experiment, they took water, methane, ammonia, and hydrogen, which obviously are all inorganic, and zapped them with electricity. After a couple of weeks, this combination produced organic material. This experiment is no longer heralded as it once was, but it tells us that it's not impossible at all that inorganic can become organic. There are other experiments such as replicating comet crashes that have astonishingly yielded amino acids.

    Furthermore, we're talking about billions of years. We as humans really aren't able to fathom how long of a time that actually is. Considering that evolution can occur within very short periods of time under certain conditions, I don't think it's that difficult at all to accept that it took single-celled life which existed as is for about two billion years apparenty, and that those celled eventually evolved to become other more complex cells billions of years thereafter. Whether it's true or not, who knows? But as I see it, it's the leading explanation.




    Not really.




    But again, the big bang theory is separate and distinct from the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution does not claim to be the definitive explanation of everything.

    As for the big bang, the evidence is quite stark. Again, on the off chance that you're not familiar with the following, one of the first substantial evidence of the big bang is the red-shift, which indicates to us that galaxies are all flying away from each other. This means that yesterday, the week before, the year before, 14 billion years ago, galaxies were closer together. A second substantial evidence is the abundance of the light elements. A third substantial evidence is the cosmic microwave background radiation. If there was a big bang, the universe should have remnants of that big bang like the remnants of any massive explosion. Lo and behold, the famous experiment about 50 years ago revealed the existence of that cosmic microwave background radiation everywhere they pointed the horn antennae. This was virtually the death-knell for the opposing steady-state theory. Then, several years ago, they released a probe called the WMAP, which scanned the night sky over a period of years. The results were breathtaking as they basically confirmed what had been predicted all along, which is that we are the product of the big bang. The big bang theory does have minor discrepancies here and there, but the above reasons is why the big bang theory has far and away become the leading cosmological model. Scientists love to prove each other wrong. And yet there really hasn't been a serious challenge to this theory because the evidence is so overwhelming.




    But there are different kinds of atheism. There are some who don't care about religion at all, and simply state that the notion of God is unimportant in their lives. Then, there are atheists who state that nothing can or cannot be proven one way or the other. Then, there are atheists who know for a certainty that God does not exist.

    I'm an atheist, but I know that at this point in time, nothing can be proven. I'm inclined to say that most atheists are like me when you really ask them to get down to it.
    That was very interesting to read and I appreciate you taking the time to write it, Pe...um, whoever you really are.

    Admittedly, there is a little bit better than an "off chance" that I was not aware of the data you cited...which I'm sure you know.

    At any rate, I'm somewhere between dismissive and interested in this topic...I get a headache after awhile. I go on gut feelings. I don't really have an agenda or "want'' one thing or the other to be the truth. Woody Allen referred to God as "The Great So What" in one of his films and that kind of sums up my feelings, I guess.

    Eventually I'll die; I'll deal with it then.

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    All over the pla-a-ace! realitybites's Avatar
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    Just got home. Have to put away my laundry and groceries then I will start to reply to the comments.

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    All over the pla-a-ace! realitybites's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 123xyz View Post
    Just to quibble , fellow atheist ( ) - I'd understood that one of the objections to theism was that , following Popper, it isn't falsifiable. Hence , not even a theory...

    But atheism is a theory i.e. among other things, falsifiable . If God appears on earth in a Star-Trek-style beam of light , then ...
    But, atheism is not a theory. It states nothing. Show me why you believe it is a theory. Is not believing in pink elephants a theory? How?

    If you are gonna be a member of the tribe, it would be helpful to have a good understanding of the terms and concepts that atheists sometimes employ. And at the very least, an accurate definition of atheism. You wouldn't, after all, want to profess to agree with something or rather, in this case, "the nothing" unless you knew what you were agreeing to.

    But, I'm glad to have you on board. Cheers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by realitybites View Post
    Just got home. Have to put away my laundry and groceries then I will start to reply to the comments.
    I don't believe in laundry.

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    I don't see why the big bang proves or disproves anything. It doesn't prove or disprove that when you die you die, and this is what really concerns us humans I guess. It doesn't disprove the belief of reincarnation or any other after life. It offers insight into the history of the Universe but not a lot else - and that's providing it's correct and I've no reason to believe that it isn't. It does make the existence of a Christian God in the way that we are taught far less believable but spiritually it doesn't offer a lot of insight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowntree View Post
    I don't see why the big bang proves or disproves anything. It doesn't prove or disprove that when you die you die, and this is what really concerns us humans I guess. It doesn't disprove the belief of reincarnation or any other after life. It offers insight into the history of the Universe but not a lot else - and that's providing it's correct and I've no reason to believe that it isn't. It does make the existence of a Christian God in the way that we are taught far less believable but spiritually it doesn't offer a lot of insight.
    My girlfriend and I had a pretty big bang last night when we got home from our friend's wedding...hopefully nothing was created, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skylarker View Post
    My girlfriend and I had a pretty big bang last night when we got home from our friend's wedding...hopefully nothing was created, though.
    Last night my mrs was

    I've never tried for a child but got two

    I'll never learn

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  5. LETS START THE LONGEST THREAD WITH MESSAGES THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH EACH OTHER!
    By noam in forum General Discussion archive 1999 (read-only)
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: July 20, 1999, 09:36 PM

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